The Pacific Games Council’s general assembly has approved the CNMI’s hosting of the 2021 Pacific Mini Games.
“The CNMI is confirmed to host the 2021 Mini Games,” PGC chief executive officer Andrew Minogue said yesterday.
Minogue, PGC president Vidhya Lakhan, and officials of the 22-member nations of the Pacific Games Association met last Sunday in Apia, Samoa, reaffirming its earlier decision that awarded the hosting rights of the 2021 Mini Games to the Commonwealth. The CNMI had to get the blessing of the group anew after the Mini Games was scaled down to just six events and the proposed budget was trimmed from $8 million to $3 million.
“This is welcoming news, and we look forward to working with our athletes, sports community, and the Pacific Games Council to do the best we can with the limited resources we have to host the 2021 Pacific Mini Games,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who earlier announced the government’s withdrawal of support to the Mini Games hosting citing the need to focus the CNMI’s resources to the continued recovery efforts after Super Typhoon Yutu struck the islands in October last year.
The governor then had a change of heart after meeting with the stakeholders and receiving a revised expenditure plan that would delay the release of majority of the funds for the Mini Games to 2021.
“As our islands continue to recover, we believe this event will bring our community together. Sports unifies different cultures and backgrounds around a shared sense of human achievement, and we know that the Pacific Mini Games will bring our athletes and everyone in the Pacific closer together,” Torres said.
The governor also congratulated the CNMI Men’s Tennis Team for winning the gold medal in the XVI Pacific Games last Friday.
Meanwhile, athletics, baseball, badminton, beach volleyball, golf, and triathlon are the six sports that will be played in the 2021 Pacific Mini Games. The medal-rich swimming competition was excluded on the list due to the uncertainty surrounding the former Kan Pacific Swimming Pool, which to this day remains closed.